Belfast Telegraph

Multi-billion offload of stricken Irish Life loans put on hold

By Laura Noonan

Irish Life&Permanent has suspended the sale of its £6.8bn UK loan book and axed plans to offload its €500m (£420m) subprime mortgage book.

Sources confirmed that IL&P had told advisers KPMG "in recent days" that the sales process around the £6.8bn UK loan book was to be put on hold.

Up to 10 bidders are thought to have tabled first-round offers for the UK Capital Home Loans book, dubbed CHL, in late December.

They have now been told that the sales process will not progress until the Government and the EC/ECB/IMF troika have agreed a 'strategic plan' for IL&P.

Final bids for the €500m subprime book were lodged in late December. A "handful" of bidders made offers, but IL-amp;P is no longer pursuing a sale of the unit.

A spokesman for IL&P declined to comment on developments around either transaction.

The two sales were part of an ambitious disposal plan designed to help IL&P raise €1.3bn (£1bn) in capital and get its crucial 'loan-to-deposit' ratio down to targets demanded by the Central Bank.

But the overall disposal plan was derailed in late November, when a bid to buy Irish Life Assurance was abandoned.